As a gay woman who has devoted a large part of my career to advance the cause of LGBTQ equality, I have seen firsthand that advancing civil rights is often a slow and steady process. When I was a young girl, Congresswoman Bella Abzug from my hometown of New York City helped champion the Equality Act of 1974 — the first piece of federal legislation in American history to address discrimination based on sexual orientation. And while the LGBTQ community has made undeniable progress over the past 45 years, the spirit of Congresswoman Abzug’s bill remains unfulfilled.
That is why I am proud to join advocates in every corner of our nation in applauding the introduction of the Equality Act of 2019, which was introduced this week in Congress by Senators Jeff Merkley, Tammy Baldwin, and Cory Brooker, and Representative David Cicilline. It’s bold and sweeping — a law that would honor Bella Abzug’s legacy by breaking down barriers facing LGBTQ people across our society.The above excerpt was originally published in RealClearPolicy .